Should U.S. Attorney General William Barr release some version of the report from special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings regarding President Trump and his associates?
Here’s a summary of statements in the past 24 hours from South Dakota’s top four elected officials, who are all Republicans like the president, and from a spokesman for the South Dakota Democratic Party.
Governor Kristi Noem, a Republican, was South Dakota’s member in the U.S. House when the Mueller investigation began.
Her press secretary, Kristin Wileman, issued this statement: “The governor is glad this nearly two-year investigation is complete, allowing Washington to move on to important issues like finalizing trade agreements.”
Katie Lingle is a spokeswoman for U.S. Senator John Thune, a Republican. Lingle made this statement on his behalf: “Senator Thune is thankful for Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s work and his dedication to the rule of law and is glad Attorney General Bill Barr quickly provided Congress with a summary of the special counsel’s report.”
Lingle continued, “While he’s continuing to review its findings, Senator Thune thinks all Americans – Republicans and Democrats – should be thankful there was no evidence of Russian collusion.”
She added, “With respect to additional material that might be provided to Congress, Senator Thune has always encouraged the attorney general to be as transparent as the law allows him to be, just as he promised during his confirmation hearing, and he still believes that today.”
Katie Douglas is press secretary for U.S. Senator Mike Rounds, a Republican. Douglas issued this statement for Rounds:
“I thank Attorney General Barr for promptly releasing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s key findings from his report that show there was no conspiracy or coordination on behalf of President Trump with Russia during the 2016 presidential election. This is the same conclusion made by both the House and Senate Intelligence Committees in their investigations.”
Rounds’ statement continued: “As I have said over the past two years, it’s important that Special Counsel Mueller be able to finalize his report without interference. I’m glad he was able to do so. Russia continues its attempts to destabilize governments through election-meddling throughout the world; we must continue to remain vigilant to protect the integrity of democratic elections both at home and abroad.”
Rounds added: “Now that Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation has concluded, I look forward to focusing on the important work before us, including finalizing trade agreements, strengthening our national defense, finishing our appropriations work on time, addressing sky-high health care and prescription drug costs and improving our nation’s infrastructure, among other things.”
U.S. Representative Dusty Johnson, a Republican, served as chief of staff for then-Governor Dennis Daugaard during his first term and succeeded Noem by winning South Dakota’s U.S. House seat last November.
Johnson’s press secretary, Jazmine Kemp, relayed this statement from him: ““I, along with an overwhelming bipartisan majority of the House, support making the Mueller Report public.”
Johnson continued, “This investigation went on for nearly two years and cost the American taxpayer tens of millions of dollars. It is clear that there was no collusion. Now that the investigation is complete, Congress and citizens should be able to review the report.”
The South Dakota Democratic Party’s leadership took a different view.
Democratic spokesman Aaron Matson issued a statement that began: ““Democrats and Republicans alike agree that the public must have access to Mueller’s full findings. The House voted 420-0 in support of releasing Mueller’s report to the public, and Trump himself has said the public should see the report.”
Matson continued, “Beyond any legally required redactions for national security, etc., the attorney general should not stand in the way of the public seeing the full report. Beyond that, Congress should see the underlying documents so congressional committees can proceed with their important oversight work and address any issues raised by the Mueller report and its documentation.”
He added, “The attorney general’s letter makes clear that the special counsel did not exonerate Trump on the question of obstruction of justice. This makes it all the more urgent that Congress and the American people understand Mueller’s findings from the report itself.”
Matson listed findings from Mueller’s investigation. Among them were nearly 200 criminal charges and indictments of 34 people, including the president’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort, deputy campaign manager, closest political advisor, national security advisor and personal attorney.